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14 Lokas of Hinduism

According to Vedic literature, this universe is known as loka-traya - the three lokas (Bhurloka, Bhuvarloka and Svarloka), or three spheres or worlds. These three domains of experience are termed Triloka, or Svarga, Martya, and Patala. These are the upper, lower, and intermediate dimensions of existence.

The Bhagavad Gita refers to them as Ūrdhvaloka (ऊध्वर्लोक) or “upper worlds”, Madhya-loka or middle world and Adhaloka (अधलोक) or “lower worlds”. Humans on Earth are located at the beginning of the intermediate worlds or the middle world (Madhya-loka), whereas Braham and his sons reside in the upper worlds, the highest consciousness realm named Satyaloka.


These 3 primary realms of the universe branch out into 14 different dimensions of existence, separated into seven upper worlds (Vyahrtis) and other seven lower realms (Patalas). All of them host different levels of consciousness, allowing their dwellers to live out their karmic trajectories; consequently, each of these realms serves a unique function and purpose in the universe and, taken as a whole, they are part of a larger system, similar to the different organs of the body and their unique roles, or the various stages of spiritual development of people of different ages and backgrounds from all walks of life.

Vedic scriptures introduce the concept of Loka in order to represent these different stages of awareness. Vedanta traditions talk about 14 realms, and each of them is a state of consciousness that shows up in a person's nature. There are seven realms above and seven realms below. We usually go back and forth between these worlds every day, depending on what we need to learn. The realm that a person may experience depends on the frequency at which they are vibrating. But in the end, the rate of vibration is directly linked to consciousness, and the 14 lokas of Hindu tradition and Vedic wisdom confirm this. The whole balance of the universe depends on the operative entwining of these realms.

While the higher realms are associated with the upper chakras, our base chakras keep also connected with the energies and siddhis of these lower dimensions. In other words, all the jewels and treasures found beneath the surface of the Earth, where the sunshine cannot reach, represent our inner potential also. Due to our innate abilities, we are able to create our material reality and advance to more subtle states of consciousness or dimensions of experience.From a spiritual standpoint we sometimes need to go through the lows in order to appreciate the highs. It's critical to remember that life is full of ups and downs, and that falling down is fine as long as we get back up. As the old adage goes, "fall seven times, stand up eight."

The 7 upper worlds (Vyahrtis)

14 Lokas of Hinduism

The seven upper worlds, also called vyahrtis, represent a higher level of awareness. They start with being awake and move through the different stages of spiritual enlightenment until the rishi reaches Samadhi. Thus, these start from Bhurloka (which is the Earth plane) to Bhuvarloka to Svarloka to Maharloka to Janaloka to Tapaloka, and to Satyaloka also known as Brahmaloka.


The Abode of Truth, also known as Samadhi. The highest level of awareness and the place where atman and Brahman are brought together forever. There is neither grief nor old age nor death and no rebirth. This is considered to be the highest realm. Here there is full awareness of Vedic wisdom, and thus the mystic fog of material energy is cleared to higher and subtler levels of existence.


A state of pure consciousness. If you are already fully enlightened, it is easy to access Satya-Loka from this state, but you must maintain a conscious awareness in your daily life on Earth. Tapa loka is the territory of ascetics and yogis who engage in rigorous spiritual practices. An untouched condition of awareness.


This level of enlightenment is known as "God consciousness." Those who reach this level are commonly referred to as "mystics," but they are typically extraordinary healers or spiritual teachers. Also known as the world of divine sages and souls with advanced evolution, Jana loka is believed to be where the descendants of Bhagawan Brahma reside.


This is the dimension of existence where great seers and enlightened beings live, such as Markandeya and other rishis, and it has been inhabited for a very long time. This is still not the place of complete fearlessness and complete enlightenment but its dwellers enjoy a duration of life of millions of thousands of solar years.


This realm is inhabited by individuals who have mastered their emotions and have no attachments to the physical world. Svar loka is the region between the sun and the polar star, the god Indra's heaven. A dimension of existence where all 330 million Hindu gods and the king of gods, Indra, reside. Only individuals with good qualities can access this realm which is free from sinful and ignorant beings.


Also known as Pitri Loka, refers to the place where those are born in the physical realm, but they also symbolize those who have found happiness and fulfillment in life, as well as those who vibrate at a higher frequency and have a higher level of conscious awareness. Bhuvar loka is a real region which is full of atmosphere and life-force. According to astrological tradition, this is also a transitional place between the Earth and the Moon where our last three ancestors reside.


Also known as Pitri Loka, refers to the place where those are born in the physical realm, but they also symbolize those who have found happiness and fulfillment in life, as well as those who vibrate at a higher frequency and have a higher level of conscious awareness. Bhuvar loka is a real region which is full of atmosphere and life-force. According to astrological tradition, this is also a transitional place between the Earth and the Moon where our last three ancestors reside.

The 7 lower worlds (Patalas)

14 Lokas of Hinduism Festival Celebration

The lower realms are lower states of consciousness in which the most affluent residents enjoy an opulent materialistic lifestyle but have little spiritual insight. In the Puranas, the realms are described as dark, sunless realms, or netherworlds. These are known as Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala and Patala lokas. All these dimensions of existence are scattered over the entire universe.


This domain is under the control of Bala, who creates three types of women: stubborn, lascivious, and scandalous. The ladies, who represent feelings that arouse desires, overpower the intellect and make us immature, concerned, and insatiable. Individuals are merely unaware that the ego drives their desires. Atala loka is an inferior abode associated with material enjoyment and delight.


The dwellers of this realm are living in ignorance. They are typically successful, but they feel so dissociated from spiritual growth that they do not even believe it exists. Even though they are aware of the evil presences, they disregard them because they believe they are acceptable. Vitala loka is believed to be the abode of powerful serpents and Nagas.


This is the realm of the Asuras, who are entities opposing the devas but ruled by the big-hearted King Bali Maharaj. In this domain, individuals can still gain insight from their mistakes, consequently we discover Bali being honored by Bhagavan Vishnu with more riches than King Indra and find a profound devotion from the king to the Supreme Personality.


This is the abode of the demon Danava also named Maya, whose name literally translates to "illusion.” This demon is always materially happy but he cannot achieve spiritual happiness at any time. In this state of consciousness the truth of reality is obscured because it is beyond their comprehension. As a result, beings here become opinionated, quarrelsome, and obstinate.


This realm is inhabited by large snakes with hundreds and thousands of hoods who are continuously furious and anxious. In this dimension of existence there is absolute inability to control desires and emotions, and fall into all sorts of temptations, which impedes spiritual growth. This is the realm of the nagas.


The realm of Rasatala loka is run by cruel devils, who are at odds with the gods. This is a state of mind in which people don't have much or any control over what they do and do whatever they want, whether it's right or wrong. Rasatala is a dark and murky place where strong demons, asuras, and serpents live.


This is the lowest level of awareness. The residents here are packed with hostility, disdain, and wrath. It is connected to serpents, nagas, and evil forces. This region of the Nagas is ruled by Vasuki, the King of Snakes. However, the gem on Vasuki's head represents knowledge and the possibility to still rise above.

Chakras and Chaturdasha Lokas

Chakras and Chaturdasha LokasThe seven lower dimensions of existence are designated for those with sturdy physical and compulsive tendencies and a low level of consciousness, beneath the base Swadhisthana and Muladhara chakras but connected to their roots.

On the other hand, the upper worlds depict the spiritual evolution of humans. Each level has indeed a designated chakra, from Muladhara to Sahasrara.

Our starting point is the Earth (Bhur loka) within the Muladhara Chakra. The location of the astral sphere (Bhuvar loka) is the Swadhisthana Chakra. Next, we experience "heaven" (Svar loka) in the Manipura Chakra, and in the Anahata Chakra, we enter the realm of the Saints (Mahar loka).

In the Vishuddha Chakra, we traverse the cosmological sphere of light-beings (Jana loka). In the Ajna or Third Eye Chakra (Tapa loka), we attain clarity of knowledge and wisdom through discipline and purification. We ultimately reach the level of absolute truth and actuality (Satya loka) in the Sahasrara Chakra.

Vaikuntha & Shivaloka

Vaikuntha & ShivalokaIn Vaishnava literature, Vaikuntha is referred to as the highest realm beyond the fourteen lokas where Bhagavan Vishnu devotees leave after attaining liberation. The twin devas Jaya and Vijaya, who guard the gates to Vaikuntha, keep it safe. Vishvaksena is in oversight of the Vishnu army that is stationed at Vaikuntha.

According to Shaiva scriptures, Shivaloka is described as a realm that transcends the material universe's limitations and it is above the fourteen lokas. It is believed to be a place of exceptional beauty, peace, and divine energy.

Shiva Loka is also said to be located atop Mount Kailash in the Himalayas, which is revered as Lord Shiva's holy abode, along with His wife, Parvati Devi, and their sons, Shri Ganesh and Kartikeya deva, also known as Murugan.


The 14 Lokas or Chaturdasha Lokas are states of consciousness or dimensions of existence of a soul in its journey towards self-realization. These realms or Lokas refer to different levels of consciousness and are made up of both good (realized) and the bad (ignorant) states within our energetic system.

The seven upper worlds are how you feel when you are balanced, happy, and in perfect or almost perfect unity with your surroundings. The seven lower worlds, on the other hand, describe states of disharmony.

When your energy centers (chakras) are open and balanced, you feel good about yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically. When your chakras are out of sync and misaligned, you feel unaware, unhappy and unsatisfied.

Nevertheless, if you know about the 14 Lokas, you'll have a better idea of why you might be sad or have bad fortune (unbalanced energy centers). And once you know what the problem is, you can begin working on a solution.

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